M&S pulls suits from more than half of its stores

M&S has stopped stocking suits across more than half of its 245 larger-format stores as the retailer responds to the rise in demand for more casual clothing.
Pictured: The 2021 England football team in team suits made by M&S.
// Marks & Spencer no longer sells men’s suits in more than half of its 254 ‘bigger’ stores
// The move was made as the pandemic has hit sales of formal clothing

M&S has stopped stocking suits across more than half of its 245 larger-format stores as the retailer responds to the rise in demand for more casual clothing.

According to The Sunday Times, just 110 of the chain’s 254 locations still have suits on the rails.

They reported findings, from data analytics company Kantar, who discovered that two million men’s suits were purchased in the UK in the past year, compared to 4.3 million five years ago.


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The trend has been attributed to a rise in both men and women dressing more casually for their jobs, something supercharged by the pandemic-induced shift to remote working.

M&S themselves released sales figures showing that formalwear had dropped by 15 per cent online, and 72 per cent in stores, in the year up to April.

In contrast, there was a 61 per cent increase in people purchasing casualwear, such as jogging bottoms and sweaters.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the chain had created a dedicated loungewear section to cater to more relaxed clothing preferences.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The statistical analysis by Kantar regarding the drop in sales of men’s suits last year compared to 5 years ago is not rocket science. Any teenager could have predicted this given covid which severely stemmed the store purchase of clothing, and especially bigger ticket items. Is this what M & S wasted its money on?

  2. I would see this as a mistake, M&S has failed to understand what’s going on.

    1; the suits they make are not of quality useful for serious business people.
    2; WFH was more or less standard in the last 12-18 months, thus suit sales would be lower.
    3; take out budget smart clothes and what makes M&S different from other retailers?

    Assuming you have a job that requires you to dress to a level, let’s say low-end management, headteacher, etc. You would probably go to Next. At the next level up, let’s say you work in a serious business such as finance, you will not be an M&S suit buyer. This is another market. I imagine much older people 65-75 who might go to events as a typical M&S smart clothes buyer.

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